The forecast for last Friday’s race had us reaching to Plymouth and back in 30-40 knot winds and 3-4m waves. Whilst this all sounded very exciting to us in advance no one was that disappointed when the race committee announced a change of course two hours before the start. In the end we got a much more interesting and tactical race around the tip of the Britanny coast going past such notable features Ushant, the Raz du Sein and the Channel du Four.
My race started averagely, got very good at one point before my standard practice of bleeding places in the dark hours. After breaking my big kite in a thunder storm I was planning to end things quite well with solid 10th place, but that was before the seemingly simple 2 mile reach down the river to finish. By the time I was approaching the narrow, rocky estuary at L’Aber Wrach night time had brought an end to the decent breeze and the tide was just starting to turn against us.
After reaching deep into the water to remove a chunk of weed the size of my head from the rudder I had the horrible realisation that my five minute lead on Henry Bomby behind was no longer in any way safe. Whilst I had lost critical momentum, Henry had kept his boat trucking along at a steady 3 knots and came steaming passed me in slow motion. It’s hard to describe how frustrating it is to watch 30 hours of hard work slip through your fingers within sight of the finish and these feelings probably didn’t help my metal state. I lost two more places, finished a whole hour after Henry and had a ‘brush’ with quite a solid rock near the finish.
So not the best result, 13th out of 17 starters but I was happy with the way I sailed for most of the race against quite a strong field and the net result is that I go into this Friday’s Solo race all the more hungry for a good finish.